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Smuggler with snakes, monkeys & tortoises nabbed at Chennai airport

Officers of Customs recovered from a passenger from Bangkok live monkeys, snakes and tortoises

A passenger smuggling in live monkeys, snakes and tortoises from Bangkok was nabbed on his arrival by Customs officials at Chennai airport.

Customs officials said on Saturday that they received specific information about a male passenger who was arriving from Bangkok with live animals on a Thai Airways flight.

The Customs officers intercepted the man and recovered one De Brazza's Monkey, 15 King Snakes, five Ball Pythons, and two Aldabra Tortoises from him.

The officials said the live animals were deported back to the country of origin through Thai Airways after consultation with Animals Quarantine & Certification Services (AQCS).

De Brazza's monkey is a large primate, native to Africa. Locally known as swamp monkeys, these primates are named after the Italian naturalist and explorer Giacomo Savorgnan de Brazzà. Their scientific species name, neglectus, which means to pay no attention to, was given to them because of their ability to hide from both humans and predators.

King Snakes are moderate to large in size and found in regions from southeastern Canada to Ecuador. They are not poisonous and eat small mammals, birds, lizards and toads. Ball Pythons are the most popular snake species among those kept as pets.

The Aldabra Tortoise is one of the world's largest land tortoises that can reach up to 250 Kg and live up to 150 years. They are found on Aldabra Island in the Indian Ocean.